Political System & Political Parties In Turkey – All You Need To Know

Turkish Parliament

The Political Parties Law in Turkey, Was adopted on April 22, 1983, governs many principles such as forming political parties, organizing, performing, activities and supervising parties.

According to Article 68 of the Turkish Constitution, the activity of political parties is an integral part of political activity in the country, and every Turkish citizen, whether male or female, can form a political party of his own free will, join a party, or voluntarily separate from a party.

To join or form a political party in Turkey must be at least 30 years old. Also, the voting age in Turkey is 18. Each party must stand in the parliamentary elections in order to run for the Turkish presidency, and according to the Turkish constitution, each party must win at least 10% of the vote, to be represented in the Turkish Parliament.

The most famous political parties in Turkey are the parties that won more than 10 percent of the vote in the last general elections (24 June 2018) and the political party is represented in the Turkish Parliament by the main parties in the country. Small parties can vote only if they meet the requirements set by the High Electoral Commission.

Political Parties Law in Turkey

The Political Parties Law, adopted on April 22, 1983, governs principles such as political party formation, organization, performance, activities, and party supervision.

Every Turkish citizen has the right to form a party, provided that the conditions stipulated by law are met, without the need for prior permission.

Currently, there are many parties in the Turkish political scene, including the Justice and Development Party, the People’s Republican Party, the People’s Democratic Party, the National Movement Party, and others.

Active political parties in Turkey

The number of Active political parties in Turkey varies from year to year. Whereas, while different parties are formed throughout the years, some resign from politics for a variety of reasons.

The Ministry of Interior monitors branches of operating parties. Therefore, during the formation of each party, the relevant application is submitted to the Turkish Ministry of Interior, and this ministry monitors the formation or non-formation of these party conferences and their continuation.

Some political parties are also defined as “symbolic parties” and are less active. In addition, there are parties called “small parties” that are active in the political arena.

Political parties in the Turkish parliament

  • Justice and Development Party (AKP)
  • Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP)
  • Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)
  • National Movement Party (MHP)
  • Good Party (İyi Parti)
  • Saadet Parti
Justice and Development Party

Justice and Development Party

The Justice and Development Party (Turkish: Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) has been the ruling political party in Turkey since 2002. The party claims to be a center-right party.

The Justice and Development Party won more than 49 percent of the vote in the 2011 elections, as well as 311 out of 550 seats in the Turkish parliament.

The current party leader is Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former leader Ahmet Davutoglu. who was the former prime minister in Turkey (we’ll come back to him later in the article).

Since its founding, the party has established itself as a pro-Western and pro-US party in Turkish politics, supporting liberalism, a free market economy, and Turkey’s membership in the European Union.

The party’s social body has a wide range of right-wing trends. It includes Islamists, reformist Islamists, conservatives, nationalists, right-wingers, and trade supporters.

The founders and prominent current members of the party are students of Najmuddin Erbakan, leader of the Islamic Welfare, Virtue and Happiness party, which split in 2001 but still retains the title of Islamism.

In 2002, the Turkish Islamic Party managed to pass a resolution in Parliament. And take over the government and the presidency. The party won a majority of 344 seats in the June 24, 2018 elections, with 87% of the Turkish people, in the form of a Republican coalition, including the ruling Justice and Development Party and the National Movement Party, with 344 seats in Parliament.

In the latest elections, the ruling Justice and Development Party, led by current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Republican presidential candidate, won 42.56 percent of the vote, and won 295 seats.

The presence of a majority of parliamentary seats in the hands of the Justice and Development Party demonstrates the Turkish people’s acceptance of the party’s programs and policies.

Turkish People's Republic Party

Turkish People’s Republic Party

The Republican People’s Party in Turkey (Turkish: Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi), is the oldest political party in Turkey and the most important center-left party in the country, with nationalistic, social, democratic and secular inclinations.

It is a member of the World Association of International Socialists and the European Socialist Party. The party was founded on September 9, 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Founder of the new Turkish Republic.

The party’s leader is Kemal Kılıcıdaroglu.

In the elections of June 24, 2018 in Turkey, the Turkish Republican People’s Party, led by Kemal Kılıcıdaroglu, won 22.64 percent of the popular vote and 146 seats in Parliament. In the June 7, 2015 elections for the Turkish parliament, the opposition party won 134 seats in the Legislative Council, the largest rival party and serious critic of the ruling Justice and Development Party, which opposes the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

People's Democratic Party

People’s Democratic Party

People’s Democratic Party HDP (Turkish: Halkların Demokratik Partisi), is one of the political parties in Turkey.

In its constitution, the party aims to create a popular democratic state that gives people the opportunity to lead a decent life without oppression, exploitation nor discrimination.

The party was formed on October 15, 2012, by the Democratic People’s Congress and the Kurdish left, which defined itself as an anti-repressive and exploitative group of all races and religions.

A number of prominent members of the Reconciliation and Democracy Party resigned from the party in October 2013 and joined the People’s Democratic Party. In general, there is a high level of overlap between the two parties.

In the elections of June 24, 2018, the People’s Democratic Party of Turkey, led by Sezai Temli and Parveen Boldan, who participated in the elections independently, won 67 seats in the 600-member Turkish parliament, with 11.7 percent of the vote.

The party also won 59 seats in the Turkish National Assembly on June 7, 2015, which is the third largest political party in the Turkish parliament after the ruling Justice and Development Party and the People’s Republican Party.

National Movement Party

National Movement Party

The National Movement Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi), acronym (MHP), was founded on February 9, 1969, with Turkish-Islamic policy. It is, in fact, a political party defending Turkish nationalism.

The party’s founder, retired colonel Alp Arslan. He is the former head of the Rural People’s Party. 1997. Supporters of this party work to make the party’s main manifesto available online.

The National Movement party, led by the Bagish Lee government and other organizations in the Republican Alliance, won the elections on June 24, 2018 with 11.1 percent of the vote and 49 seats, as a united party alongside the ruling Justice and Development Party. The party also won 41 out of 550 seats in the Turkish parliament in the June 7, 2015 elections.

Good party

Good party

One of the new political parties in Turkey, The Good Party (Turkish: İyi Parti) was established on October 25, 2017, by Miral Aksner and other opponents of the MHP and other parties.

The party is a national, secular and conservative political party in Turkey. The party includes a wide range of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the People’s Republican Party (CHP) and other parties.

The party was founded as an alternative to Erdogan’s opposition to right-wing voters, focusing in particular on reviving the parliamentary system and integrating the judiciary and institutions.

The newly formed Good Party, led by Miral Aksner, who was formed after separation from the National Movement Party and after the previous Turkish parliamentary elections, consists of five members in the current parliament.

Happiness Party

Happiness Party

The Happiness Party (Turkish: Saadet Partisi) is the last party created by the National Credit Movement after the Virtue Party, which was founded on July 20, 2001 in Ankara.

Recai Kutan was appointed as the founder under the leadership of the party. After the Fadhila party was dissolved by the Attorney General, nearly half of its 105 neutral representatives joined the Happiness Party.

The Happiness Party, led by Temel Karamollaoğlu, who is not in the current Turkish Parliament, ran a coalition of people in the June 24, 2018 elections in Turkey and failed to send 1.3 percent of the votes to the Turkish Parliament.

Turkish National Party

Turkish National Party

The Turkish Left Nationalist Party (Vatan Partisi) is a nationalist party founded by Sadettin Tantan in 2002. Doğu Perinçek is now the leader of the party. The party also won the elections of June 24, 2018 of the Turkish parliament with only 0.2 percent of the vote and failed to win a seat in the Turkish parliament.

The Future Party

The Future Party

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu unveiled his new party (Gelecek Partisi), on December 13, 2009, and won the votes of all party members.

He said that the aim of his party is to participate in the political life in Turkey and serve its people. He said at a ceremony at which the founding members and his party made a statement that the presidential system in Turkey “reduced the standards of democracy” and that they “support the parliamentary system.”

Earlier, Turkish media reported that Davutoglu’s efforts to form a party had the support of 3.4 percent of the country’s population.

Davutoglu was formerly a member of the Justice and Development Party and served as the Turkish foreign minister and prime minister under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Observers believe that the formation of political parties in Turkey, which are the parties that stem from the ruling Justice and Development Party, will definitely weaken the party more.

Democracy and Progress Party

Democracy and Progress Party

Former Turkish Minister of Economy Ali Babacan announced the launch of (Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi) in the Turkish capital on March 9, 2019. Ali Babacan said in a speech at the founding ceremony of the Democracy and Progress Party, “It is time for democracy to advance in Turkey.” In his speech, he stressed that the party’s policy contradicts that of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ali Babacan called for a series of reforms, including a new constitution to promote separation of powers in Turkey. He also called for economic reform and the expansion of democratic freedoms in the country.

The leader of the Party for Democracy and Progress criticized the political atmosphere in Turkey. After the formation of the party, several Turkish and international newspapers wrote that the newly formed party is expected to become a serious competitor to the most popular Justice and Development Party in Turkey.

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